The Maltese Pirate.
This is a work of fiction and any names of real people and yachts have been changed to protect the innocent etc.
The old Pirate sat in the thin October sunshine musing on the past. Other than refusing his first offer of Mount Gay, because he did not know it was rum, he had few regrets. He was already booked for the Sydney Hobart and Caribbean 600; he had sailed many seas but wondered what fresh challenges might still await him.
An e-mail alert flashed at the foot of the screen and he opened it. An invitation to join a team for the Middle Sea race on an old Cygnet with all grog and rations provided. He picked up the phone and called Vlad whose company was sponsoring the yacht; other experienced racing sailors would be on board. All they wanted was his experience and helming, it all seemed simple, so as he was also simple, he agreed.
Arriving at the Marina of the 5 star Hotel to join Vlad and his team he had some difficulty finding Polarison, mainly as she hadn’t arrived. Vlad and his team were in the Club across the bay so after negotiating a berth for the night on another yacht he went in search of the team. Always just 5 minutes behind their last move he encountered the Maltese Knight who had joined the team to provide local knowledge.
The next day he found Vlad and the Impalers and heard reports that a sail had been seen off Gozo and Polarison would arrive that afternoon. The sail maker and the trimmer arrived, both experienced, English speaking, racing sailors and the old Pirate relaxed in the warm Maltese sun shine and marvelled at the ancient fortifications. True to his word Vlad provided all Food and Grog.
Knowing the ways of the sea and the joys of delivering yachts shorthanded the old Pirate awoke before first light to find Polarison just arriving. He set to work with their crew immediately for he knew that there was a coastal race that day and there was much to be done before the start. Vlad and the impalers went for a long breakfast and boarded just before it would have been too late to make passage for the start.
Having worked in Moscow the Old pirate expected some cultural differences. It became clear that Vlad thought he had chartered Polarison with owners representatives and he would be skipper whereas the company thought they had sold a skippered charter and had put on board Skippy and young Harry (for he was too young to shave and had 2 strange lumps as well which meant for Vlad’s team only suited for work in the galley).
Running his fingers through his grey beard the old Pirate kept his own counsel as he watched the battle for control of Polarison develop. The situation was not helped by another young Pirate from the company doing the tactics at the start resulting in Polarison being several minutes late starting, plus Skippy and young Harry were very tired. Despite all this, Polarison clawed its way to the middle of the fleet. The old Pirate marvelled at the finish, he had seen ships with 2 wheels and witnessed people try and pull them in different directions but he had never before seen 2 people on the same wheel pulling as hard as they could in different directions.
Ashore the animated discussions continued and now involved the owner of the company, the old Pirate watched then went for a swim to consider whether . . . → Read More: The Maltese Pirate